Gold medalist Redmond Gerard of the United States of America, centre, celebrates with silver medalist Max Parrot, left, and bronze medalist Mark McMorris following the men's snowboard slopestyle final at the Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Feb. 11, 2018.
Canadian snowboarders Max Parrot and Mark McMorris have won Canada's first medals of the Pyeongchang Olympics.
But on Saturday afternoon, one didn't have to be a cagey snowboard veteran to figure out that Canada is going to be a serious medal threat this weekend. McMorris fell in his last trip down the course. They will be joined in the 12-man final by Sebastien Toutant, who qualified with a 78.01 in Saturday's morning heat, and by Tyler Nicholson, who fell nearly immediately in the first Olympic run of his life but bounced back with a 79.21 in his second run to get through to Sunday. A former slopestyle world champion, O'Brien finished a disappointing 12th after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis right before the Sochi Games.
The 24-year-old suffered fractures to his jaw, left arm, pelvis and ribs and sustained a ruptured spleen and collapsed left lung after a backcountry snowboarding accident in Whistler. He spent 10 days in hospital and was on a liquid diet for six weeks. "I probably shouldn't even be here", said McMorris.
From there, McMorris earned his spot on the Canadian Olympic team.
In women's slopestyle, Laurie Blouin of Stoneham, Que., was cleared to return to the hill after suffering an apparent head injury during a training session earlier this week at Phoenix Park. The big air finals are set for February 23-24 at Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre.
"I don't know why, but my body felt stiff during my first run".
"I was just trying to catch that guy in front of me".
Bloemen's rival, Sven Kramer of the Netherlands won the event for his third straight gold, setting an Olympic record of 6:09.76 in the process. But he fell on his last trick and was surpassed by American Red Gerard for the gold.